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Xiaomi 13 Review : Breaking With The Past Is Sometimes A Good Idea | Tech Reviews

Xiaomi 13 Review : Breaking With The Past Is Sometimes A Good Idea | Tech Reviews



We already knew both the Xiaomi 13 and the Xiaomi 13 Pro and we really wanted to sink our teeth into them in the West to see how the collaboration between Xiaomi and Leica was going , but also to see if the assault on the premium range was a flash in the pan with the Xiaomi 12 .

We have been with them for a week and my colleague Ricardo has analyzed the Xiaomi 13 Pro, a super-ambitious mobile in all aspects. For my part, I am going with the review of the Xiaomi 13 that yes, it is somewhat more contained in size and specifications, but it has its weapons to stand up to OPPO, Samsung and Google .

Technical sheet of the Xiaomi 13


2.400 x 1.080

120 Hz

1,900 nit peak

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 152,8 x 71,5 x 8 mm

185 grams

PROCESSOR Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM 8 / 12 GB
REAR CAMERA Principal: 50 MP f/1.8 OIS

Telephoto: 10 MP f/2.0 OIS, 3.2X

Gran angular: 12 MP f/2.2

BATTERY 4.500 mAh

67W charging

50W wireless charging

10W reverse wireless charging


Wi-Fi 6E

Bluetooth 5.3


infrared emitter

OTHERS IP68 certification

optical fingerprint reader

Dolby Atmos stereo speakers

PRICE From €999


Design: Premium all around, but a step back in comfort

The Xiaomi 13 shows that it is not necessary to go to 16 centimeters to find premium mobiles. It is in the same family as the Google Pixel 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S23 (the latter somewhat smaller) of mobiles that could pass for ‘premium’ due to the finishes, but which are the new compact ones .

Xiaomi continues without committing to continuity in terms of design and , from the curved screen and the textured glass back of the Xiaomi 12 we went to a flat screen and glossy glass in this Xiaomi 13 .

Xiaomi analysis 13
Prepare a cloth because the back catches the prints.

I love the screen and now I’ll tell you about it, but the back, although striking, is a magnet for fingerprints . If you take it without a cover, you will have it dirty to a minimum, but hey, you have the courtesy protector in the box and it is not of poor quality.

Of course, if you dare, I recommend you take it without a protector because the touch of the aluminum sides and the rear, despite what it means in terms of dirt, is excellent.

Xiaomi analysis 13

I consider that it is a step back in comfort compared to last year , since the curvature of the screen and the fusion of the back with the edges (which are now flat) made it more comfortable in the hands, but it is undeniable that it is in the high end.

The buttons, the screen/front ratio of 89.4% (according to GSM Arena ) is striking, the symmetry between the chin and the upper frame, everything is very careful and, in addition, we finally have IP68 certification . It was something we missed last year and it didn’t make sense that, taking into account that they want to be in the TOP range and their rivals have it, it was still out of the equation.

Xiaomi analysis 13
Xiaomi continues to maintain its IR emitter.

And well, at the top we still have the microphones and the infrared emitter that Xiaomi is reluctant to abandon . It’s always nice to have more options and there are ways to take advantage of it .

Screen: the trend of flat screens in this range warms my heart

Let’s go to the screen because it is one of the most important points of a mobile (and I get a lot of use out of it because I see a lot of content). Xiaomi has not recycled the panel from the previous generation and here we have a tad more diagonal, more brightness and my favorite change: a flat screen.

It is a 6.36-inch OLED that has FullHD + resolution. This translates into 2,400 x 1,080 pixels and I’m not denying that I would have liked to have QHD+ , but hey, that seems reserved for the ‘Pro’ brothers in almost all families.

Xiaomi analysis 13

The refresh rate is 120 Hz and we don’t have an LTPO panel (which is also for the ‘Pro’). Here you can choose 60 or 120 Hz, but also an automatic mode that, from my tests, does not work badly, so it is the one that I have ended up leaving. The response is excellent, it shows when playing and I love that the finish is flat .

This is a strictly personal preference, but you save yourself the shadows of the curvature, the strange areas with strange brightness, that there is part of the interface of some apps that ‘double’ and, above all, accidental touches. I am very happy that Xiaomi has made this change that, on the other hand, we see more and more in mobiles of this range.

Xiaomi analysis 13

The brightness has also increased considerably . According to the manufacturer we have 1,200 nits with peaks (specific under very specific conditions) of 1,900 nits. This means that you will see the screen perfectly on the street on a sunny day. Now, the automatic brightness sensor, or the software that controls it, has problems.

On the street there are times when the brightness is not set to maximum and I have to adjust it manually and at home, in a night environment with only one auxiliary light and the TV illuminating the living room, the brightness remains too high.


Beyond that, getting into the software we have many possibilities when configuring the color palette . There is the saturated mode, the original and the advanced settings that allow us to define different profiles based on P3 and sRGB.

You can also set the display to always on (with some great house brand customization) and it works well. The notifications arrive, we have the double tap to wake up and, in short, it is a screen that I liked. Of course, you have to polish the brightness sensor because it ends up being annoying to have to adjust something that should work perfectly automatically.

Sound: soundtrack while you are in the shower, but be careful not to go up to 100%

Xiaomi analysis 13

The Xiaomi 13 has a stereo system . It was something that we expected, at this point in the film, from a mobile of this range. In addition, Xiaomi has been characterized by introducing a double speaker in practically all its ranges. The quality seems good to me and it has a fairly high volume, but I would not turn it up beyond 80% .

On most phones, when you go above 80% the bass is washed out and the treble is very harsh. Here we are not before an exception.

Performance: The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a beast if accompanied by good dissipation

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the best System on a Chip that Qualcomm has designed in a few generations. After the disappointing 8 Gen 1 manufactured by Samsung, which was a disaster controlling both consumption and temperature, and a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 -manufactured by TSMC- that fixed the problems of the previous one, comes an 8 Gen 2 that is a true wonder .

We have already tested it on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra , on the Galaxy S23+ and on the OnePlus 11 and the sensations cannot be better. There’s no thermal throttling , it doesn’t heat up as soon as you enter a game’s menu, and performance is beastly.

Xiaomi analysis 13
The finish on the sides is impeccable.

We have the version with 12 GB of RAM (plus three virtual GB that are of little use) and 256 GB of storage. As it is becoming more and more common in mobiles of certain ranges, you will not be able to expand this storage using microSD.

There are 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB versions, so choose your version carefully because, in addition to the space available to install, the storage standard is different . We have already seen this in several models and, while the 128 GB modules are UFS 3.1, those of 256 GB and up are UFS 4.0, faster both in reading and writing.

But hey, having said that, let’s move on to the traditional synthetic tests. When we talk about the performance of a smartphone, we don’t just rely on the numbers of the tests, but the truth is that they allow us to see strange behaviors between terminals with the same SoC and, above all, easily check if there is thermal throttling.

As you can see, here we have a performance in line with the rest of the phones that we have tested with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but the most interesting thing is the sustained performance tests that allow us to see if there is thermal throttling in the SoC .

The first test is that of the application that puts the hardware at full throttle for a period of time and shows us in a very visual way how the processor and GPU perform under pressure.


The result is very interesting because before the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 we used to see that the performance was gradually decreasing, in some cases in an extreme way, but in the Xiaomi 13 graphics we have peaks of almost 100% during the 15 minutes it lasts. the proof.

Another test that we wanted to do is the 3D Mark ‘loop’. It is a test that passes the same test several times (20 repetitions) to see the stress on the GPU when repeating heavy tasks.

99.9% stability is not seen every day.

I cannot describe my surprised face when I saw the result: 99.9% stability . When I went to see the numerical results of each test, I saw that it was not an error, but that in each lap there was a different figure, but all between 11,171 points and 11,186 points.

I like these tests a lot because they are usually representative of the day to day when we play, for example, and here the truth is that I have not had appreciable heating in titles like ‘ Genshin Impact ‘ or ‘ Call of Duty Mobile ‘ with the graphics and the FPS to the max.

Xiaomi analysis 13

In ‘Genshin’, which is a resource hog, I get a figure very close to 60 frames per second. It is outrageous and I move between 55 and 60 FPS. That consistency a generation ago in Android was unthinkable (especially with the excellent thermal response of this SoC).

Coupled with the good response from the panel, we are facing a real beast to play and I am curious to see how gaming mobiles, which come with better heat dissipation systems, will be able to stretch the capabilities of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

And something curious is that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 got hotter, depending on the mobile, playing Xbox Game Pass via streaming than local titles. Here, after half an hour to Forza Horizon 5 , the Xiaomi 13 was still quite fresh. We must applaud both Qualcomm for the efficiency of the SoC and Xiaomi for the dissipation system.

Symmetrical frames are a delight.

Before we get into the system, I don’t want to overlook the proximity sensor . In recent years we have been quite critical of this because Xiaomi dispensed with a physical sensor and opted for a software one that certainly did not work well.

Now we have a proximity sensor that turns off the screen as soon as we put something in front of it and it is curious that we have to comment on it as something positive, since it was a garden that they got into by themselves

System: MIUI 14 is still a very Asian layer, although the internal changes are noticeable for the better

As expected, the Xiaomi 13 comes completely updated to Android 13 and with the new version of MIUI. A few days ago we told you the news of MIUI 14 and it shows that it is a layer that has been renewed thinking, above all, of performance.

More than a renewal, in fact, I would say that it is an internal adjustment because practically all the changes play in favor of performance and stability. I haven’t had major bugs , I haven’t crashed and the experience with the terminal has been perfect this week.

Xiaomi analysis 13

The fluidity is extreme, changing the application by sliding your finger on the chin is a joy and, apart from the performance, if you like customizable systems you will enjoy it beautifully. MIUI 14 inherits all the customization from the previous version , with a lot of themes and quite interesting new widgets.

Game launcher is still a success if you like to play on your mobile because of the performance options, the application shortcuts, and because it lets you see the terminal’s performance in real time through a graph. The battery saving mode works great and I have not had bugs with apps that are consuming more.

A bug in the notifications when you put YouTube in full screen. The box is transparent and you don’t see anything.

Although as I was saying I haven’t had major bugs, there are some. TikTok catches the shine sometimes. It seems to me that it goes up a bit automatically when I enter the app and it doesn’t bother me, but when I exit it stays the same. I have to pull down the toolbar and double tap on the auto brightness icon to get it back in place.

And when I receive messages from Telegram and other apps while watching a YouTube video, the notification card is transparent and it is difficult to see the content. Actually, it is not something that significantly affects the experience and MIUI has been improving in recent months, so we expect improvements in future updates

There is bloatware, a lot of it, but it can be easily removed.

It’s still an overdone layer that’s more geared towards the Chinese market , and what’s more, as soon as you turn it on you’re hit with a massive amount of bloatware . Yes, it can be easily uninstalled, but there are plenty of launcher apps out there.

Biometrics: although I am not crazy about the location of the sensor, it has not given me any errors

In biometric unlocking we find no surprises: both facial recognition and the fingerprint reader under the screen work accurately and quickly . Facial unlocking is done with the traditional 2D system, it is fast, but since it is a mere “photo” it is not as safe as 3D systems.

Xiaomi analysis 13
I wish the sensor was a little more centered, but it’s lightning fast.

For its part, I liked the on-screen fingerprint reader for the fluidity when unlocking thanks to the recognition and animation of MIUI, but I would have loved it if it were somewhat more focused and not so close to the chin. Being a more compact mobile, you don’t have to make an exaggerated gesture with your hand, but even so, it would have been more comfortable a little higher up.

Autonomy: 4,500 mAh that gives you to get through the day with advanced use

The battery specs are exactly the same as what we saw on the Xiaomi 12. We have a 4,500mAh battery with 67W wired charging with, Xiaomi still keeps it that way, the charger in the box.

However, I have seen an improvement over what I was able to see last year on the previous generation. With the Xiaomi 12 it barely reached five hours of screen time on a not very busy day. If I had a lot of notifications and played a little, the mobile would die with four hours / four and a half hours of screen time.

Autonomy at the end of the first day, with four hours 42 minutes of screen time. Autonomy the next day with almost six hours.

Now it is not that it is an exaggeration, but I have had on a normal day (and with many notifications both from work and from networks) five hours 42 minutes of screen time with a total of 30 hours 28 minutes away from the charger . Basically from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the next day.

If that lasted for me, and if you don’t play, I’m sure you’ll be able to reach at least six hours of screen time , which is pretty good considering the brightness and battery capacity. Now, one day when you go out to take photos or play, you are going to stay on the screen for about five hours.

67W charging gets you up and running in no time with a full charge in 41 minutes . I leave you four sections to give you an idea:

  • 15% in 3 minutes
  • 50% in 15 minutes
  • 75% in 25 minutes
  • 100% in 41 minutes
Xiaomi analysis 13

And we also have 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse charging . The reverse charging option is somewhat hidden in the battery settings, but you don’t have to go there to activate it because you have a little button on the toolbar.

Cameras: confusing new style ‘made by Leica’

Xiaomi analysis 13

We are going to the high point of this review because yes, a mobile can be perfect in all sections, but if the cameras click, there is a lot of competition that does it well. Here you can rest easy because the cameras of the Xiaomi 13 Pro will leave you satisfied , but they are not perfect.

Before seeing examples and the application, let’s go with the detail of the rear cameras and the application. We have the same configuration as in the 13 Pro, but the megapixels and the size of the sensors drop:

  • Main : 50-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture and a size of 1/1.49 inches. 1 µm photodiodes, optical stabilization and a focal length of 23 mm.
  • Telephoto lens : 10 megapixels with f/2.0 aperture and a size of 1/3.75 inches with 1 µm photodiodes. Optical stabilization and 3.2 increases that are equivalent to a 75 mm.
  • Wide angle : 12 megapixels with f/2.2 aperture with a 1/3.06-inch sensor and 1.12 µm photodiodes. It covers 120º and is equivalent to a 15 mm.
Xiaomi analysis 13

There’s the little Leica ‘Authentic’ button. If you press, you switch to ‘Vibrant’ mode.

Leica is in charge of providing two “styles” to the shots with the different cameras. We have an ‘Authentic’ style and another ‘Vibrant’ style that I’ll talk about later, but let me tell you in advance that names are deceiving and the most processed, curiously, is ‘Authentic’.

And the application is the one we know very well: many options (some do not come pre-installed and we are the ones who choose whether to download them or not), smooth performance, Google Lens integrated into a small button on the top, object tracking options and a Pro mode that lets us shoot in RAW .

App captures
Introduction to the two styles of processing, the ‘More’ section and the ‘Pro’ section in which we find the RAW mode.

I liked that the processing of both RAW files -limited to 12 megapixels for some reason- and 50 Mpx photos is very fast. In auto mode you can also take multiple photos in a row without any lag and overall the software works great.

Main Camera

Xiaomi 13

Profile ‘Authentic’

Xiaomi 13

‘Vibrant’ profile

But let’s go to the examples, which in the end is what matters. I have already left you two samples and, although similar, there are differences. The ‘Vibrant’ has a somewhat higher saturation , as well as better contrast and, curiously, more natural results.

When I talk about ‘naturalness’ I mean the colors that I am seeing with my eyes, wow. The ‘Authentic’ does weird things . The shadows are somewhat more subdued, the color balance also differs, tending to a kind of very slight orange & teal , but it’s there, and it adds a kind of vignetting.

Xiaomi 13 1

‘Vibrant’ on the left, ‘Authentic’ on the right.

It is not an artistic vignetting like the one that we can apply by software or the one that some very bright lenses have at their maximum aperture, it is… something strange. It is not constant, it does not always appear and I do not understand this process very well, to tell you the truth.

In fact, I recommend shooting in ‘Vibrant’ mode because it’s the prettiest . But hey, if you buy the mobile you can always do your own tests because it’s as easy as selecting one mode or another at the top.

Xiaomi 13 2
Surely you already know how to guess the color profile.

The main camera does not suffer from sharpening and, except for the issue of colors and processing in some photographs, I think that Xiaomi has done a good job in terms of processing to get natural photos that would even admit some retouching in their JPG with programs like Snapseed.

At night we have a defendant who behaves well . In the carousel we have a night mode that we can configure to automatically jump in standard mode anyway.

Main night

It treats points of light such as streetlights well, although depending on how the light hits it, it will appear that we have dirty glass when it is not. This is something that many terminals sin about and it is at night when the quality of both the lenses and the protective glass comes to the fore. But hey, you can take night photos without worrying.

What I didn’t like so much is the HDR . Here I think it goes hand in hand with the processing and, although I don’t notice burnt out highlights, the shadows in some photos are too dark. With ‘Authentic’ mode it’s normal because I’ve already commented that it turns them off a lot, but in ‘Vibrant’ it should change the film and there are times when it doesn’t.

The 50 megapixels

In addition to automatic, we have a ‘Pro’ mode that has interesting details such as zebras to see if we are overexposing the image, as well as fully manual controls.

In this ‘Pro’ mode you will be able to shoot RAW , but unfortunately Xiaomi does not allow, at least with the current software version, to take a 50-megapixel RAW, so we cannot see what the sensor gives of itself.

Authentic Vs 50 Mp

‘Authentic’ Vs 50 MP. Interestingly, I like the processing of the full-size photo much better.

But you don’t have to go to ‘Pro’ mode to shoot at full resolution, since we can do it from the ‘More’ menu, to the right of the carousel. I have been impressed with how well it treats (in this mode yes) the shadows , with the correct exposure, and also how fast it processes the image.

Crop 50 Mp

RAW and crop

50 MP

In the focal selector we have a 2X that is digital and that cuts out the sensor. It has good quality and is what we would get, more or less, doing a 100% crop of a photo in 50 megapixel mode.

The portrait

And something that I really liked is that it shows that Xiaomi is gradually improving its portrait mode. Now it does give the impression of being a portrait taken with a telephoto with a wide aperture and not something very forced by software.

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Portrait with 3.2X. It has surprised me.

We can do this portrait with both the 3.2x and the main camera , but I’d definitely prefer the telephoto one. I like the colors, I like how he treats his fingers, the edges of his hat, his hair and even his glasses.

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Portrait using the main camera. It simulates a 23mm with an f/1.4 aperture quite nicely. There are small errors, but it works.

You’ll be able to control depth both before and after you shoot and you’ve got a bunch of Leica filters that I’m not really excited about. They look very artificial, but hey, it’s a matter of taste.


With the telephoto (with a strange 3.2 magnifications, but a more than logical 75 millimeters) I have mixed feelings . For the portrait I love it and I liked some plans of buildings.

It has a somewhat different processing from that of the main camera, not too much, but just enough to saturate the skies a little more. Now, if trees or some other element intersect in the image, there are times when nothing happens, but other times when the textures of the branches and the background are smudged.

TV night

It’s somewhat inconsistent in this when it shouldn’t, but it’s a good TV to go on vacation to capture details of buildings or day-to-day situations. At night it falls in the shaded areas, but it doesn’t hold up badly.


By the way, it can focus from very close and it is not a macro, but it will allow you to capture interesting details and with some background blur.

Wide angle

Without being a pointer wide angle, the truth is that I liked it. I find it handles vertical lines considerably well as long as we position ourselves correctly. The processing is somewhat different from that of the main camera, but not too much, and we don’t have an excess of artificial sharpness, but I do notice that there are precisely elements that lack some extra definition (the branches of the trees, for example).

wide angle

In the center of the image we have enough quality, but as we get closer to the sides we see that the classic “washing” of textures from many wide angles appears.

Front camera

On the front we have a 32-megapixel f/2.0 camera with 0.7 µm pixels and a 22-mm equivalent focal length. It behaves well if we don’t enlarge, since there I notice a lack of definition in the textures.

Selfie Xiaomi 13
Portrait with the frontal vs photo in car.

In addition, the white balance is radically different from that used to process photos with the rear camera. It is true that with the back I am somewhat paler than normal, but with the front I am orange.

Clearly, it is the weak link in the photographic section of this Xiaomi 13. Also, although this is something that happens to almost everyone, when the light falls, the detail plummets.

Xiaomi 13: Conclusion

And, in the end, the company has done quite well with this terminal. It is continuous in many aspects such as the battery, the charge, the speaker system or the front camera and its results, but it has arguments so that we want to opt for it .

Xiaomi analysis 13

The new Snapdragon takes good care of the 4,500 mAh battery while offering excellent performance and efficiency. The screen maintains the resolution and refresh rate compared to the previous generation, but the higher brightness and the flat finish are a plus. And, obviously, the photographic section has convinced me .

There are details to polish such as a better video, a more precise and agile brightness sensor and continue polishing MIUI, but the truth is that analyzing this Xiaomi 13 has been a very comfortable experience . Also, I take real photons for my personal album.

A full time tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Religiously follow everything new happening in the tech world and share my two cents with my audience here.

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